SRO on leave after physical altercation with elementary school student

By Kristy Kepley Steward

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HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — A Henderson County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been placed on administrative leave following a physical altercation with an elementary school student.

Henderson County Public Schools confirms with News 13 that on Monday, May 9, 2022, Fletcher Elementary School principal Tammy Deaver reported to district administrators that a physical altercation between a school resource officer (SRO) and a student from Fletcher Elementary School had taken place.

Since all ORS at the school are employees of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office or the Hendersonville Police Department, the school system immediately reported the incident to the sheriff’s office.

The HCPS confirms that the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation and that the deputy involved has been placed on administrative leave.

In a statement to News 13, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office said, “Upon notification of the incident by Henderson County Public Schools, Sheriff Lowell Griffin ordered that the ORS be placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation was being conducted.During the internal investigation, the decision was made to ask the NCSBI to investigate this matter further.

In a statement to News 13, the school system said, “The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and we will continue to be transparent in our communication with the student’s family throughout our own internal investigation.”

The statement went on to say, “As with any student matter, limited details can be shared at this time. Any questions regarding the deputy involved or the internal law enforcement investigation should be directed to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.

When asked why some parents appeared unaware of the incident prior to speaking with News 13 crews on Thursday, Henderson County Public Schools released the following statement:

We are never free to discuss individual student information, which is why it would not have been appropriate to send a school-wide communication about Monday’s incident to all of the Fletcher families.

We have been in ongoing communication with the family of the student involved and have assured Fletcher parents with specific requests that any incidents or concerns involving students or staff are reported, investigated, and addressed to keep our school safe, of our students and our team.

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Martha K. Merrill